Winning basketball games always feels better, coming off last Saturday's win, I thought we'd talk about more good things and things everyone seems to like... Recruiting! I haven't posted an official update on Recruiting since December (I try to keep things pretty updated on Twitter and the Hot Board), so it's been a while. Not a ton has happened, but we've still got a few things to cover to give you all the latest intel we've been hearing over the last few weeks.
A good place to start is with the scholarship situation... or another excuse for me to use this image:
What's up with 2016
Mizzou is looking to add two more players to it's 2016 class at this point. A scoring wing and a true post. If more attrition happens, they are prepared to go after a combo-guard as well.
DeShawn Corprew: At this point Corprew is the top target for Mizzou at any position. They are spending a lot of resources on Corprew, and it just might be enough to land the 4-star guard. Kansas is somebody to keep an eye on, but Corprew is a backup for the Jayhawks because they are still high on the list of 5-star guard Joshua Jackson, and I don't know that you can say anyone is outworking Mizzou and Coach Rob Fulford in what he's doing with Corprew. I don't think Mizzou fans can get themselves to pull for Kansas in any way, but if Jackson lands in Lawrence, then the door opens significantly for the Tigers with Corprew. So yes, KU landing the top overall recruit according to 247sports and Rivals would be a net gain for Mizzou. Tigers coaches believe that a tough, physical guard who can shoot it from deep is precisely the remedy for the struggling offense, and they even believe that Corprew would start as a freshmen. In fact:
Mizzou is planning on visiting Deshawn Corprew again on Monday. The 4-star wing looks like their top priority at this point.— Sam Snelling (@SamSnellingRMN) February 14, 2016
Corprew is getting a visit from Fulford today.
Eron Gordon: It looks like Mizzou has moved on from Gordon. Whether they were told to or they opted to move on themselves is unclear, but at this point Corprew has easily taken the lead, and with good reason. He has more size, which Mizzou needs, and more flexibility. And with Gordon, Mizzou was going to have to make up a lot of ground as Seton Hall still looks like the favorite at this stage.
Cheikna Dembele: Currently the top target in the post for the Tigers, Dembele is a fast rising 6'10 center who is exactly the kind of rim protector that the Tigers need right now. Mizzou has gotten in early enough to be a factor, because Dembele was a relatively unknown going into this basketball season. However he's since gotten offers from Iowa State, NC State, Charlotte and St. Joe's. Steve Shields has been the primary recruiter for Dembele, who has jumped to #149 in 247sports rankings.
Hassani Gravett: There's been some confusion on Gravett to this point, so I hope this clears some of it up. Gravett is being recruited by Missouri as a 2016 recruit. He played a post-grad year in 2014-15, and now is playing as a freshman at Pensacola in 2015-16, but his academics are in order for him to move on this offseason if he gets the right offer. Gravett originally committed to Louisiana-Lafayette out of his post grad year, but wanted to improve his offer list. He doesn't have an offer at this point, I believe that MIzzou is recruiting him as a contingency in the case of roster turnover as a combo guard.
Kavell Bigby-Williams: I don't know if Bigby-Williams is somebody that will jump off the page if you were to Google him, but Mizzou is on the lookout for size and length and he brings that. Bigby-Williams is a legit 6'10, but one who after coming over from the United Kingdom didn't qualify academically to play at Montana State, so he went to Junior College. Currently he's averaging about 17 points and 13 rebounds, and it sounds like Coach Fulford will be checking him out this week to gage the level of mutual interest, and give him an in person scout. Dembele is the priority, but Bigby-Williams could be that top backup option.
Adrian Moore: maybe not a new name, Moore has visited Mizzou twice unofficially, he's from Little Rock, Arkansas and has offers from Tulsa, Wake Forest and Evansville according to his Rivals profile. Moore is attracting interest from a host of larger schools like Baylor, LSU, Georgia and Missouri. The proximity to Mizzou might be the biggest draw, but I have a hard time seeing Moore as a priority for the Tigers at this point. He's a wing, and one with potential, but nobody that would be expected to contribute right away.
The latest on 2017
Technically the top three targets are still the same as they have been, but we're starting to get a clearer pictures on what Missouri is looking to do with it's class. I'm not breaking any news on Michael Porter, Jr, Trae Young and Jeremiah Tilmon being the top targets for the Tigers, I guess you can add DeAndre Ayton to that list, but he's so far out there as a possibility it's probably not worth it. However Ayton and Porter are good friends, and Porter has expressed a desire to play with some friends, so that's why Ayton is on their list as well.
Despite everyone saying things to the contrary, Mizzou is not out of the running for Porter. It remains a long shot with the struggles the team has seen the last few years, but Porter has reiterated that he would prefer to stay close to home as he expects to play just one year in college, and he is still listening to Missouri. That means that Missouri and Kansas are the two closest to where Porter's family is at the moment. Don't discount Kentucky, Washington and Virginia in the running, and you can never count out Duke when it comes to top recruits, but at this point I'd wager that Kansas is probably the favorite. The Tigers have an uphill battle to land the 5-star, but they are intent on battling.
Aside from Porter committing and dragging Trae Young along with him, it's incredibly unlikely, the longest of shots, that Young ends up a Tiger. While Porter remains a possibility, I've heard that the two going their separate ways isn't as wild of an idea as some consider it to be. One reason for that is the emergence of Oklahoma in Young's recruitment. Young, being from Norman could also be the hometown hero and play for the Sooners. Kansas is playing a large role, as is Duke, but word around Oklahoma is that the Sooners like where they are with Young. Being a top 5 team sure hasn't hurt.
Tilmon is more complicated than before at this point. His move to LaLumiere from the outside seems like a good move as it likely takes any academic questions off the table, but at the same time it removes Tilmon from the St. Louis influences that would make Corey Tate a bigger influence. Not only that, but with the academic concerns off the table, larger schools have jumped in full blown, like Michigan State and North Carolina, who 247spots has as the leader right now. Mizzou is by no means out of the hunt, but the climb is much steeper than previously thought.
Received an offer from Missouri!!! ☝ #Mizzou #SEC pic.twitter.com/EQWL0NXN7m— Parker Stewart (@Parker2828) February 12, 2016
Missouri recently offered Parker Stewart, a 6'5" combo guard from Union City, Tennessee. Stewart is an interesting case as he's a unranked 3-star on Rivals, a 4-star on ESPN, and unrated on both 247sports and Scout. Stewart is the son of an assistant basketball coach at UT-Martin. So his skill level is very good, and he's got very good size for a primary ball-handler, and he can shoot well. Stewart can play both on and off the ball, but the Tigers are recruiting him as a point guard. Stewart has still a long way to go, but getting in before he blows up a bit in the spring is a good thing. Currently Kansas State, Nebraska, Wyoming, Ole Miss and Florida have reportedly offered as well.
Another priority for the Tigers is Jordan Goodwin, a high 3-star or 4-star wing from Belleville, IL. Goodwin has a very close relationship with Corey Tate from his time with the St. Louis Eagles. Goodwin is a rugged, hard-working player that would fit in really well and projects to a high ceiling despite being a bit undersized. Mizzou has also spent a lot of time and energy recruiting V.J. Bailey, the son of a former Mizzou football player who now lives in Texas. Bailey is a combo guard, and a 4-star athlete, and he might be tough to pry out of Texas, but Mizzou has been on him early and often.
There are another few guys to keep your eyes on:
- Mamoudou Diarra, a 6'9 combo forward from St. Louis (MO) Christian Academy. Diarra doesn't yet have a Mizzou offer, but he has been on an unofficial visit and looks to be a backup plan for Michael Porter.
- Michael Hueitt, a 6'3 combo guard from High Point (NC) Christian Academy. Hueitt has the nickname "Cheat code" and Tigers coaches have offered the exciting guard on the rise.
- Tray Hollowell, a 6'3 point guard from University Heights in Kentucky. Hollowell is a bit of an under the radar player, but has the opportunity to turn some heads this summer, he does not yet have an offer from Missouri.
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